We have another double header of action in the Indian Premier League on Sunday with the first of the matches coming from Delhi where the bottom two in the table face off as the Rajasthan Royals take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
These two sides have struggled so far in the campaign and while they only reach the halfway point of their season here, you get the feeling that neither can afford to lose this one if they are to remain relevant in the race for the top four.
When you look at the overall record of the Rajasthan Royals and see that they have two wins from their six matches you could be forgiven for thinking they haven’t been at the races. The reality is actually the opposite of that but they just are not finishing each innings off how they could do and that is ultimately costing them heavily at the minute. There have been a couple of times where they have not maximised their potential with the bat and another one where they were inches from winning.
One area where they could do with tightening up is in the middle overs with the ball. Teams are finding it a little too easy to get away from them but I’m going to cut them a little bit of slack when you think a lot of their plans will have involved Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, neither of whom are here, while Andrew Tye has also left, so they are a little short in bowling resources which isn’t ideal. Even so they can’t just keep doing the same thing and hoping something changes.
You got the feeling that at some point in this season the Sunrisers Hyderabad were going to pull the plug and go down a different direction and their defeat to the Chennai Super Kings last time out was the final straw. Dave Warner has now been replaced as captain and Kane Williamson, who really should be captaining this franchise anyway when you consider the excellent leader he is for New Zealand, as assumed control. That move immediately gives the Sunrisers a lot more options.
It will be interesting to see if Warner keeps his spot in the side. You would think he won’t because he was out of form, which you can’t afford to be as an overseas captain, and also because the Sunrisers are crying out for something else in their bowling attack so it would be a big surprise if someone like Jason Holder isn’t included here. To be fair to Warner from a captaincy point of view, he was without a couple of key bowlers in recent matches which hasn’t helped.
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We almost got a glimpse of the best of Jos Buttler in the first game here but he will be looking to impose himself on the tournament here. Sunrisers have been useless with the new ball recently so Buttler will look to capitalise on that to get the Royals ahead of the rate before the Rashid Khan overs come into play.
Kane Williamson showed his class in his first match of the season and he showed a side to his game that isn’t always apparent when he creamed it to all parts in his latest outing. He now has the captaincy and will want to lead by example in the field as well as with the bat.
The pitches look in great order here in Delhi so there has to be every chance that we are going to see another high scoring match here. It might not be the 200+ vs 2-00+ that we saw on Saturday but it looks like anything less than 180 here is going to be under par so I expect the runs and the boundaries to flow once again. Bookmakers are beginning to catch up with that in terms of the runs lines they are offering but not quite so with the boundaries line.
The boundary line for this match is actually one lower than it was for the Saturday game and while there is four Rashid Khan overs in play here I still think the 41.5 boundaries is a little on the low side. These two sides look like they are beginning to find some form with the bat and if the Rajasthan Royals can finish their innings off they have a unit full of boundary hitters. I fancy we’ll see better form from the Sunrisers batsmen with Williamson in charge so the over looks a good thing to me.
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